Drowse Ephemera


The laws of life,
slow-flow laws of the mind drip regular echoes through my heart
comforting lonely pages with the promise
of boisterous company.
I blink into myopia,
focus on an aardvark who disappears
into my periphery to pull the tickle away
from my sandy thought hill; we know one another’s names,
but introduce ourselves each time we meet
with a symmetrical ceremony of a dance,
then I am a robot, artificial intelligence, programmed to re-encode without remorse.
Staring at my solemn self, marveling and merriment break windows
with un-chiseled delight, and regular trains pass by whistling at the moon.
I am the conductor and I smile
(I carry a message that will never arrive).
A blossoming vine spreads out of the fertile earth
where my mirror sheds its tears,
and tightens its lazy pose across warm tracks
(morning-glorious ear to the ground).
Unceremonious, no splash
the surreptitious vine dives through shadows into an ocean of eternal unconsciousness.
I and the tears that water new growths
will never again build our house near such unstable roots,
torn out of gaping holes where the measureless lack of sad, gray heavens must be filled by sighs.
Such a sweet, seductive sound
this rustling willow-thought blows
toward my sweaty brow,
"I am kerosene,
awaiting a spark
to burn forever atop a smoky, mirrored Olympus."
Such a flame, such a song,
only to be stung by the dance of snowflakes,
shiny, bitter, irreverent nighttime ice-truths
evaporating on tiptoes,
but not before reflecting stony density, a stomach of blackness
a heart which booms no to the world’s yes
as a lullabye
and sleeps through yes-mens’ dreams.

Ebb, flow

Domino clap-tracks tumbled their course
Under the sway of a cellophane flag;
Belly-born numbness dragged many to lag
Swaggering slacking; cross-eyed remorse

Underscored fire-armed futility.
Heading on destiny’s shots in the dark,
Tolling bells’ death-knells: an ear-rung birthmark,
A panzer against tranquility

But obsolescent and falsified,
To my rearview mirror a painted bird.
Broken dreams, beach bottles, the breeze I heard
Sighing, comforted, whispering asides

On a warm sand stage, casting behind
A glance at soliloquies passed by, fast
Rejecting painted lips, sneered-at, aghast.
Brows slowly knit at beggars born blind

Raised my eyes to a poppy-tired field
Battle-worn by weeds and easter-lilies,
From blinks askance, conscious (willy-nilly)
Of a sunburnt face lost, left in peels.


Veils made sense just now
and a grapple with
Irony lifted
me out of my seat.
Dawn rises on still
Born on upturned leaves
Chloro-filled virgins
And sunshine-slaves chant,
Light-god, fill our sense
with dreams’ scent."

O dalliance mine
Memory-shadow, my only
Your rose-petal hair’s
Blue-skied highlighted night
like footsteps from sand dunes
in windsongs’ caress
Your aftertaste’s reluctant dawn
enslaves us together again.

Somewhere behind
my eyelids we pick cotton from the muezzin’s morning call
‘more mio,
wake up.
Somewhere inside
a swallowed-key lockbox
That first feverish poisoned morning
returns eternally,
You change my shirt.
Anywhere lies spread-eagle back there
Antarctica calls
and you’re hating the Patriarch
who didn’t pay our rent.

Will daydreams knock
Riders from saddles
who trample your vessels
of earth and shadow,
Turning round
As pillars of salt
Into whirling-pool vacuums,
vacuous girls?

Enlist to exist
Directionless quietude
Exhaled affection
for waves risen
solely for breaking
but whose glory remains
in lost twinkles
of sunbeams unflashed-yet
Forgotten at sea.

The Usual Silence

Ceaselessly decreasing
years behind,
you would trip over my children
still unborn, or child, if that I am.
Wanderers like us look only for sunrises,
the cold grass beneath is our only surprise,
cynics under scrutiny with bored snake-eyes
scanning for music.
A harsh cardboard home
to guard my evening from bitterness,
and I need a lamp stand
with no
symbols for ideas
to protect. Maroon was the color
of my moment as a mystic, Stone-Climber,
chained to a cliff against demons’ claws,
but the truth of things knows every nuance,
doesn’t chase any more than yesterday’s weather,
except in times of flood. And the flood catches up,
on the Nile, at home, even words used just once
make a bucketful of drops.
You make me wonder, Charon,
if your bride is eternity,
if you dream of living water,
if the ripples of sinking fleets are a stone’s throw away
from the mention of buoyancy
or the salty piers where my feet dream;
but go, ye, and learn what that meaneth,
moral ascendancy is heir to lambs’ bleats,
enchanted by licks of fire in stretches
for the sky’s upper lip. What can be done
when your river dries up,
who can you carry across that warm windowsill,
whose broomstick will you ride, whose song?
I will wait for you, ferryman,
I do everything slowly which is a lie,
I will throw down my old locks
and bear you up
to this tower where clouds fly by
at the speed of light, light just lazy enough
for a symphony to finish,
too nervous not to shatter the dawn.
We will share a chalice of living water
to the moment of my youth,
before deeds added to knowledge
make gray these days that flash, that sparkle,
and are gone.